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#1
Old 07-13-2015, 11:04 AM
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Electrical: Splicing of household appliance cords

I stayed in a rental house last week that had a lamp with its electrical cord spliced to an extension cord, using screw caps and covered with electrical tape. I know that connections of cable in the walls have to be in junction boxes. Is there any code that addresses household use that is not part of construction?

Code aside, is this a safe splice?
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#2
Old 07-13-2015, 11:31 AM
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No. There is much more stress on the wires when a lamp would be moved than stationary wires in a wall or ceiling.
#3
Old 07-13-2015, 11:39 AM
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It's definitely not safe. Wire nuts are not adequate splices for cables that are subject to strain, which includes any appliance cable. The correct thing to do would be to replace the lamp cord with a proper plug.
#4
Old 07-13-2015, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
...Is there any code that addresses household use that is not part of construction? Code aside, is this a safe splice?

The NEC doesn't address your situation. Not every hazardous condition that is associated with electricity is prohibited by the NEC. However, other State and local codes may apply.

Is it safe? No.
#5
Old 07-13-2015, 07:29 PM
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Is there any code that addresses household use that is not part of construction?

If there is, my guess is that it would be fire code. It's the Fire Department that inspects our business every couple of years and this is the sort of thing they would write-up.
#6
Old 07-13-2015, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ornery Bob View Post
Is there any code that addresses household use that is not part of construction?

If there is, my guess is that it would be fire code. It's the Fire Department that inspects our business every couple of years and this is the sort of thing they would write-up.
If it was in a private home the fire code would not apply. But if the cord caused a fire the insurance co may not want to pay.

If it is a rental then that is different matter. And it would be a violation of the fire code.
#7
Old 07-14-2015, 12:12 AM
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You guys are a bunch of wusses. A nice job of soldering and a length of shrink tubing and you're good to go. I've got more than one extension cord that had been temporally made into two with a too enthusiastic use of trimmers, etc. The all work like a charm after repair.

Look - let me demonstrate. I'll just plug in my big electric lawn blower and turn i------BBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTT!!

Last edited by Daylate; 07-14-2015 at 12:12 AM.
#8
Old 07-14-2015, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
I stayed in a rental house last week ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
If it is a rental then that is different matter.
#9
Old 07-14-2015, 09:47 AM
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It's basically just bad practice. You didn't make the splice, you don't know what sort of job the person did, so you've inherited a possible fire or shock hazard. The nature of power cords is that they move, get stepped on, get twisted, etc. A splice is a weak point in the cord and not designed to take abuse.

Next up: putting rugs over extension cords.
#10
Old 07-14-2015, 11:30 AM
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A simple connector like this is cheap, legal and easy to fit.

http://images.ffx.co.uk/tools/SMJCP102C.jpg
#11
Old 07-14-2015, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for responses. Aside from the physical stress on the splice, I know that one reason junction boxes are required is in case of arcs, and this splice (although taped) is lying on a wood floor.

Well, I left there Sunday so I have no vested interest, and I'm guessing the owner won't give a shit if I tell him, but I appreciate all the responses.
#12
Old 07-14-2015, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daylate View Post
A nice job of soldering and a length of shrink tubing and you're good to go.
Agree.

Cut the wires so that the joints will be staggered (i.e. not adjacent to each other).

Strip wires 3/8 of an inch.

Install large diameter heat shrink tubing (HST) over entire cable, approx. 4 inches in length.

Install small diameter HST for each wire, approx. 1 inch in length.

Solder each wire.

Use Dremel and grinding stone to round-off any sharp corners in the solder joints.

Shrink HST for each wire.

Shrink large HST.
#13
Old 07-14-2015, 09:53 PM
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I rewire old lamps and such to bring them up to modern standards. The only correct response is replace the entire cord from outlet to light socket. I pay about $2.15 for a 15 foot replacement light cord with a molded on plug, the cost can't be an issue.
#14
Old 07-14-2015, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Agree.

Cut the wires so that the joints will be staggered (i.e. not adjacent to each other).

Strip wires 3/8 of an inch.

Install large diameter heat shrink tubing (HST) over entire cable, approx. 4 inches in length.

Install small diameter HST for each wire, approx. 1 inch in length.

Solder each wire.

Use Dremel and grinding stone to round-off any sharp corners in the solder joints.

Shrink HST for each wire.

Shrink large HST.
Or you could not do that and just get a fucking NEMA plug for $3 and spend two minutes wiring the lamp correctly, and then not burn down your house.
#15
Old 07-15-2015, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
Or you could not do that and just get a fucking NEMA plug for $3 and spend two minutes wiring the lamp correctly, and then not burn down your house.
And maybe even live longer.
#16
Old 07-15-2015, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer72 View Post
I rewire old lamps and such to bring them up to modern standards. The only correct response is replace the entire cord from outlet to light socket. I pay about $2.15 for a 15 foot replacement light cord with a molded on plug, the cost can't be an issue.
Former military power generator mechanic agrees. When a cord on something broke, the Army taught us no splice, just wire what was left attached to the plug back into the appliance. If it was too short, get a new cord.

ETA: test for continuity first.

Last edited by RivkahChaya; 07-15-2015 at 01:49 AM.
#17
Old 07-15-2015, 10:22 AM
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I think you guys need to read all the way to end of that post you're quoting....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daylate View Post
BBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTT!!
I believe the advice to splice was tongue-in-cheek
#18
Old 07-15-2015, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
Or you could not do that and just get a fucking NEMA plug for $3 and spend two minutes wiring the lamp correctly, and then not burn down your house.
If the cord broke due to fatigue, a splice is a bad idea. But if it broke because the dog chomped it, or it got cut accidentally, etc., and the cord is in fine shape, then a splice like this works great and is not dangerous, assuming you know how to solder.

Yeah, it's more work than the connectors linked to above. But it's also a smaller wart on the cable.

No argument that replacing the cable is quicker, easier, and better (though, not quicker if you have to walk to the hardware store to get the replacement lamp cable.) Also, if extending the cable, you need to know what the load is and whether a lower gauge cable is required.
#19
Old 07-15-2015, 04:52 PM
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I've spliced lamp cords before. I agree its not the best practice but done correctly they are fine. Especially if the lamp sits in one spot and never gets moved. But replacing the cord is the best option.

I would never splice any appliance cord, toaster, coffee pot, crock pot etc. They draw so much power that the cord gets warm for the the minute or so its actually powering the heating coil. Splicing a cable like that is a fire hazard.

Last edited by aceplace57; 07-15-2015 at 04:54 PM.
#20
Old 07-17-2015, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
The nature of power cords is that they move, get stepped on, get twisted, etc. A splice is a weak point in the cord and not designed to take abuse.
This is correct.

I wouldn't bother trying to do anything with that spliced cord -- replace it and move the splice to a more protected location.

Go to the hardware store and get a length of new lamp cord. long enough to go from the base of the lamp to where you want to plug it in. Then go from the bottom into the base of the lamp, cut the old cord there and splice on your new cord. Secure it the best you can inside the lamp base, and put appropriate strain relief where the cord comes out of the base -- a knot in the lamp cord or whatever. Then install the plug on the end of the cord and you're done.

You still have a splice in the cord, but you have moved the splice to inside the metal base of the lamp, where it is much more protected from being stepped on, run over by a vacuum, pulled on, etc. Much safer, and it shouldn't cost you more than about $5 for the cord and 15 minutes of work.

Last edited by [email protected]; 07-17-2015 at 03:59 AM.
#21
Old 07-17-2015, 04:48 AM
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Or, just form a U in the cord around the splice and tie the U with a cable tie. Strain is now transferred from one side of the splice through the cable tie to the other side of the splice.

Yet another pressing First World problem.
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